The United Nations is not doing enough to feed the world

Sara Menker and Gro Intelligence Are Tackling Global Hunger


Sara Menker and Gro Intelligence Are Tackling Global Hunger

As a new director for the United Nations’ Gro Intelligence, Sara Menker was looking forward to helping feed the world. However, the United Nations is not doing enough to help feed the world, she says, noting that “we are talking about food security in the middle.” Instead, she says, the United Nations has focused on the problem of food insecurity in the first place, in what she calls a “silo approach.”

“We are talking about global hunger, not the problem of hunger within countries but the problem of hunger in the country,” says Menker, a United Nations senior advisor for Food Security and Nutrition. “When the United Nations talks about global hunger, it’s usually talking about food insecurity — the lack of enough income to eat quality food. Yet, food insecurity today is the result of many factors, not only of the lack of income from work. There is also unemployment, poverty and economic shocks to the economy. How can the United Nations call something a global crisis when it has not talked about all the factors that cause global food insecurity?”

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly passed its first resolution on global hunger. But the global hunger problem is complicated. Many hunger-related issues, from child malnutrition and lack of access to food and water, have specific causes. Achieving food security and sustainable livelihoods for all people around the world requires a comprehensive and holistic approach. Menker calls this approach “global development.”

“This is what we are trying to do for the first time in 10 years,” says Menker, who was hired by the United Nations to lead Gro Intelligence, a new initiative within the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Gro Intelligence ’ s mission is to help support and expand the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by developing new partnerships between governments and civil society and strengthening the UN’s capacity to partner with partners in key areas such as access to healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation, and protection of the environment. Gro Intelligence aims to

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